It was one year ago tomorrow (Sept 6th 2009) that I quit my job, sold my sparkle business, emptied my savings account and tried to move from Boston to Los Angeles. Gosh how different the world seems now!
I was restless in my career, hitting that “what does it all mean?” phase you hit in your twenties where you suddenly think the answers to all your life questions lie elsewhere. This crazy decision wasn’t totally spur of the moment. No, no. I had been to LA three times. I had friends there and “tons of job prospects”. I had been planning and discussing and researching since my birthday in January – 9 months! I thought, despite this being the WORST ECONOMY IN HISTORY that I could come out unscathed on the lovely West Coast. My family and friends tried to warn me – but once I have my mind set on something, no amount of reason can sway me. I could make it! I was wrong. So, so wrong.
However, this whole ordeal can be summed up in one fantastic quote I got from my mom recently:
“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.”
Here I was running 3000 miles away to find something I thought I was lacking. I ignored that gut feeling of “this isn’t a good idea” in favor of sunsets and palm trees. I thought that I could move to LA and suddenly lose weight and become this fit, happy person. My LA friends were fit and happy – so the equation makes sense right? Wrong.
If you’re not happy with yourself and your decisions – no amount of distance can change that. <— easily one of the smartest things I’ve learned in my lifetime!
So, like I said I quit my job (of six years), threw myself a going away BASH (50 + friends and SO much fun) and waited for my “new” life to begin. I applied to a million jobs. I flew to LA twice. The second flight was the worst. I had gained weight (if I had to guess I was 420 by that point). I was low on expendable funds so I flew on an airline that was not JetBlue (my fav.) and I couldn’t buckle the seat belt. Asking the flight attendant for a seat belt extender, a little voice inside me said ‘You’re too fat for LA!”. I shut her up by eating cookies I packed. I couldn’t fit in the fucking seat and I was eating cookies?! SHEESH!
The trip just kept going downhill. I had to stay at a sketchy hotel with my TINY rental car. I could barely drive that damn car. The employer I flew all the way out to meet blew me off twice (a tell-tale sign they DID NOT WANT ME) and then the day of my interview….my dress pants didn’t fit! Buying new ones was NOT an option ~ so I wore jeans. It was LA, everyone wears jeans! In hindsight I don’t think it was the jeans that ruined it for me, I think it was my size. The office was small (6 people) and everyone (except the VP) was in great shape. They even talked about going for “group runs” during my interview. Yeah….not so much someplace I’d fit in.
I left there deflated and depressed. I was not meant to live in this glorious town, dammit.
I flew home (this time I had the fat extender from the first flight…I “forgot” to return it. Mmm I really didn’t EVER want to relive that humiliation again so I stole one.) – waited around for someplace else to call, ANY PLACE and then after 2 months I gave up and admitted defeat. My old company missed me – and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I spent the first few weeks back at work making jokes about LA sinking into the Pacific etc. but deep down I felt like a GIANT, EPIC failure. I assumed all my co-workers were thinking “Yup, the fat girl was shunned from LA – knew that would happen“. Back in the saddle at work, I wasn’t myself. The failure had changed me inside. I ate worse than I have ever eaten in my life during this time. I was constantly consoling myself with food. I’m finally back in control of my life, and my eating. Thank God. I’d weigh 5000 pounds by now if I let myself get sucked into that downward spiral!
Deep down I have been hanging on to this “experience” aka failure for 365 days. That’s insane. I need to forgive myself and let go. I tried, I failed, but no one died because of my failure. The world didn’t end because I chased a stupid dream for the wrong reasons.
Whew. Writing this all out feels so therapeutic! I’ve been beating myself up for so long, I’m exhausted! So, I’m letting it go. I don’t need that emotional baggage, dammit!
So, here is my *new* mantra:
A year ago I tried to move to LA and a year from now I will be close to, if not at my goal weight – at which time I will throw myself another bash; this time to celebrate my accomplishments! 🙂 You’ll all come celebrate with me right?